Fasten your seatbelts and pull out your sick bags, the fastest loop-de-loops on PC are making a comeback. A remake of Trackmania Nations - simply titled Trackmania - is sitting in Ubisoft Nadeo's garage, the developers announced this week. This year's model is going seasonal, adding daily tracks and regular tournaments to keep your tyres firmly on Trackmania's gravity-defying tarmac when it arrives on May 5th.
Of course, Trackmania never really left. It's been sitting quietly in its own niche for years, with the last release - Trackmania 2: Lagoon - arriving as recently as 2017. But Nadeo have opted to return to a simpler time, before all the Canyons and Stadiums and Turbo spin-offs mixed in wildly different handling models and track gimmicks. In the announcement post, Nadeo managing director Florent Castelnerac wrote that the team "basically decided to redo a lot of Trackmania after watching videos from our community."
Trackmania has, indeed, always been community-driven. A vessel for players to build their own tracks, servers, leagues and such. Despite this, Nadeo have noticed that numbers drop off sharply after release as players "rush through the campaign and then stop playing". There's a need to step in and provide more official incentive to jump in. To that end, Trackmania is going seasonal in 2020.
On top of a regular campaign, Nadeo will highlight a new track each day, run daily and weekly casual competitions, and hold a twice-yearly Grand League. They even went as far as hiring an established community organiser named Softy to help them run and maintain these tentpole leagues. Of course, the devs hope to advertise community-run tournaments alongside official ones in-game to keep the game's blood pumping.
For folks more interested in making tracks than driving on them, the devs also promise more physical surfaces and blocks to work with. They're also ramping up the special effects, letting you close out a race with some dramatic slow-motion. Time will tell if anyone out there can top Star Wars_Metallica.
I've never gotten behind the Trackmania wheel myself, but every six months or so I'll pop on this 2015 vid of Giant Bomb's Jeff Gerstmann tearing through community maps for 90 minutes - chilling out to the sounds of whining engines and X-Files dubstep.